- Techno is a form of electronic music that has its origins in house music. While the gay club scene of Chicago developed the distinctive 4/4 beat of house music, it was in Detroit that this blueprint was taken further, developing into a harder more electronic music that became known as techno. It was the development of ‘MIDI’, a way of connecting synthesizers, samplers and computers, that enabled the genre of techno to be developed. In particular, contemporary techno frequently involves the usage of the Roland TR909 drum machine and the Roland TB303 bass sequencer. The musicians Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson are credited with developing the techno sound, although bands such as Tangerine Dream, Parliament, Depeche Mode, Can and, in particular, Kraftwerk are said to be central influences. Techno eschews the melody and vocals of house music, while emphasizing synthesized artificial sounds. While house music continues to draw influence from genres such as soul, funk and jazz, techno is perceived to be more of a ‘pure’ genre based around a strict technological aesthetic. Connected to this aesthetic are developments in computer graphics and the computer network known as the Internet. Many techno acts incorporate these new technologies into their live performances, with, for instance, bands such as The Grid using sound-generated computer graphics as a visual accompaniment to their music.The music played in British techno clubs is particularly diverse, although British DJs often become known for playing one particular style of techno. At one end of the spectrum is ‘hardcore’, an aggressive techno subgenre that reaches the improbable tempo of 220 beats per minute. This form of techno is particularly popular at raves (see rave). At the other end of the spectrum is a techno more akin to ambient music, with slow beats and gentle harmonies. In-between these two extremes lie a bewildering array of subgenres that often originate from a particular city, region or country. Within the American techno that is popular in Britain, the Chicago sound is based on a heavily rhythmic percussion, while Detroit techno has a raw, minimal feel. Dutch techno, or Gabba, is popular in Scotland, and is renowned for its speed and the violent imagery of its lyrics. Techno from Germany, Israel and Goa is particularly popular in London trance clubs such as Return to the Source. Britishproduced techno appears to draw influence from a variety of global sources. Artists such as Dave Clarke appear to be highly influenced by the original Detroit sound, while bands such as Orbital and Underworld have an affinity with European trance.In Britain at the moment, techno is generally played at either large outdoor raves or in small specialist clubs. Those clubs at the forefront of the British techno scene include Voodoo in Liverpool, Bugged Out in Manchester, Beyond The Final Frontier in London and Pure in Edinburgh. While jungle appears to be gaining critical acclaim as the logical progression from house and techno, these latter two genres continue to be the dominant sound of the contemporary dancefloor.STUART BORTHWICK
Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . Peter Childs and Mike Storry). 2014.